While multiple room audio setups are far from new, true plug and play wireless systems have yet to be a force to be reckon with. Eos Wireless has given it a shot with an incredibly easy to use wireless speaker system and the results are good, but less than stellar.
To explain it simply, the Eos Wireless System has one main dock that controls all of the wireless speakers. From the dock you can use you iPod or any other external audio source through the dock’s auxiliary input. The dock requires power as does the wireless speakers so your scenario will have to include power in order to run everything “wirelessly”. Each dock is capable of transmitting to up to 4 wireless speakers and is displayed brightly by a blue LED on the dock. The tiny infrared remote is bare bones as far as functions but its response was accurate and prompt.
Set up is so easy you don’t even have to flip through the instructions. Once the dock is powered it will automatically find however many wireless speakers you have plugged in and immediately begin broadcasting. Each wireless speaker can be plugged directly into a wall outlet or the AC plug can be detached allowing for more custom placement. The contact points are really big and rugged and have no problem supporting the weight of the speaker when directly in the wall. The wireless speakers also have a really nice feeling volume knob that lets you know with a good click that the speaker has been turned on or off.
Each speaker has left and right tweeters on the front and a small midrangish speaker on the backside. The range for each wireless speaker is 150 feet indoors and 300 feet outdoors. I live in a large 2 bedroom house and I had no problems transmitting music from the far reaches of my basement to the fence in my backyard. Also of note is that if you have more than one dock you can match each speaker to whichever specific dock you want via the link button on the back of the dock. Mac users with iPhones or Touches can use the Aux in to control music through their computer from around the house. I tried it and it worked flawlessly.
Ok, on to how they sound. Let me preface this section by saying that I have a degree in audio engineering (though I don’t really use it) and have a very sensitive ear when it comes to discerning tone and frequency response. While the dock speakers and the wireless ones sound fair at low volumes, they suffer greatly when cranked. The SRS WOW and GigaWare patented technologies don’t really come into play at all and make no difference in the overall sound. I have read some reviews saying that these speakers can’t go loud but they can, they just don’t sound good. I tested them mainly with Hip Hop and Metal and while those genres have more commanding tones, the speakers just couldn’t handle it. Shrill distortion are the two best words I can use to describe it. Even the dock’s speakers didn’t sound all that good in my opinion.
Obviously the spectrum of consumers that would be interested in this product greatly varies, but these are not for audiophiles or people who throw parties and need loud and defined music. I do think this speaker system has a place in the market though for sure. From nursing homes to day care centers this system is so easy to use the sound quality isn’t as important and honestly I think most people would enjoy them.
Beyond the sound there aren’t many gripes. The fact that the dock has no on/off button is annoying especially if you are energy conscious. The base station dock is actually priced pretty decent right now on Amazon and comes with one wireless speaker. Each additional speaker is a bit pricey, though. Other than the scenarios I described above, I think this system would be great for the tech stunted over 50 crowd as the plug and play setup will be invaluable to some, like my Dad. In the end, Eos Wireless has made some great strides into this new frontier, they just aren’t there yet. If they can get a handle on some better sound quality they will have a killer product. Until then…
- Dead simple setup, controls, and interface
- Can be used across a variety of scenarios and applications
- Quality construction
- Weak sound at high volumes
- No on/off switch at base station dock
- Pricey for discerning ears
Buy the Eos Wireless Base Station for $164 here!
Buy additional wireless speakers for $102 here!